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8 Patriots Who Put Their Faith First

8 Patriots Who Put Their Faith First

As Memorial Day approaches, many of us are reflecting on the sacrifices made by so many to preserve our freedom and liberty. Throughout American history, so many patriots have served their country with bravery, commitment, and unparalleled dedication. Here are just 10 of these noteworthy individuals, from various time periods and various walks of life. They are both men and women, and both those who were actually enlisted in the military and those who served their country in other ways. They all, however, share a deep love for country and a firm commitment to their Christian faith.

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  • 1. George Washington

    1. George Washington

    George Washington is the first patriot that comes to mind for many when they consider America's founding. From his leadership of the Continental Army to his role as the first president of the United States, his patriotism is unparalleled. He was also a man of faith. He was committed to his Anglican church in Northern Virginia and praised the Church's "laudable endeavors to render men sober, honest, and good citizens, and the obedient subjects of a lawful government."

    Photo courtesy: Wikipedia 

  • 2. Nathan Hale

    2. Nathan Hale

    Nathan Hale made the ultimate sacrifice for his country. He was raised in the Christian faith by his Puritan parents and showed throughout his short 21 years on earth that he was an individual of faith and character. Hale studied at Yale and was pursuing a profession in teaching, with the possible goal of later becoming a minister when war with the British broke out. Hale joined the army and was captured on an intelligence-gathering mission. He was sentenced to hang as a spy. A patriot to the end, Hale's last words are reported as, "I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country."

    Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

  • 3. Betsy Ross

    3. Betsy Ross

    Elizabeth (Betsy) Ross was raised in a Quaker family and attended the famous Christ Church in Philadelphia. She is credited with having made the first American flag. Legend has it that Ross convinced Gen. George Washington to change the flag's design so that it more closely resembled what we know it as today.

    Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

  • 4. Abigail Adams

    4. Abigail Adams

    Yet another patriot from the Revolutionary War era, Abigail Adams was a hugely influential patriot. Although not able herself to vote or be engaged in politics, she is often viewed as the woman who helped her husband, John Adams, take on the influential roles he did in the new nation's government. She was a committed wife and mother, a committed attender of First Parish Church in Quincy, Massachusetts, and an unwavering patriot for the American cause, even when it meant being a part from her husband for months. John Adams regarded Abigail as his closest confident and counselor, and when the new government was formed, she famously urged him to "remember the ladies."

    Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

  • 5. Lemuel Haynes

    5. Lemuel Haynes

    Lemuel Haynes was born to an African father and a white mother. He had a natural inclination for learning and particulary loved learning about theology and the Bible. He went on to become a minister; in fact, the first African-American ordained by a mainstream Protestant Church in the U.S. Haynes was a contemporary of George Washington and was known to greatly admire the General. Haynes was also an advocate for liberty for all. Years after his death, it was discovered that Haynes had written a manuscript in which he stated, "That an African... has an undeniable right to his Liberty."

    Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

  • Military chaplain, Chaplain under fire for endorsing John Piper

    6. Desmond Doss

    Desmond Doss was a remarkable man of bravery and conviction. He served as an Army Corporal in World War II and received the Medal of Honor and other awards. What is particularly noteworthy about Doss, however, was how foundational his faith was to his service to his country. Although distinguishing himself for his bravery, due to his faith, he was a conscientious objector to killing others, even in the midst of war. Instead, he dedicated his time in the Army and risked his life to save his comrades. A movie called Hacksaw Ridge was recently produced by Mel Gibson and stars Andrew Garfield as Doss.

    Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Im Yeongsik

  • Harriet Tubman, Tubman to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill

    7. Harriet Tubman

    Abolitionist and Underground Railroad conductor Harriet Tubman was born into slavery in Dorchester County, Maryland in 1822. After courageously escaping slavery in 1849, Tubman dedicated her life to freeing other enslaved people across the American south.

    According to Christianity Today, by using the underground railroad, a sophisticated system linking different modes of transportation used to usher enslaved people into the free North, Tubman assisted at least 300 people to freedom.

    “I was the conductor of the Underground Railroad for eight years, and I can say what most conductors can't say — I never ran my train off the track and I never lost a passenger,” Tubman famously said of her time running the Underground Railroad.

    Many of Tubman’s friends and fellow abolitionists asserted that her determined spirit was rooted in her faith in God.

    "I always tole God, 'I'm gwine to hole stiddy on you, an' you've got to see me through,'" Tubman is quoted as saying.

    Later in life, Tubman worked with Union forces during the Civil War and in the mid-1890s began advocating for women’s suffrage.

    She died of pneumonia on March 10, 1913.

    Photo courtesy: ©Kirt Morris/Unsplash

  • 8. Perry Alliman

    8. Perry Alliman

    Perry Alliman is a U.S. Army pilot famous for surviving after his Black Hawk plane crashed in the Somali desert. Alliman and his fellow pilot were severely injured and facing capture by their enemies when Alliman said he remembers saying a prayer: "Lord, forgive me for not sharing Christ with more people, but we’re ready to come home now." 

    But God had other plans. A young boy appeared out of nowhere and led them to an armored personnel carrier which brought them to safety.

    Alliman says this traumatic experience "actually deepened my faith. It’s made me confident that no matter what happens, He is in control. If He wants me alive, there is nothing anybody can do to stop it. It’s given me tons of confidence to really go anywhere and do anything that He’s calling me to do, without fear of it ending badly.”

    Alliman's story was made into an award-winning film in 2001 called Black Hawk Down.

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